Sunday, December 10, 2023

Meet the Candidates: Judge, 431st District Court

Southern Denton County residents will head to the polls starting next month to decide a plethora of municipal and school board contests, in addition to state and national elections.

The Cross Timbers Gazette asked each candidate in a contested local race to answer a brief questionnaire to help voters make an informed decision at the polls this November.

In the race for Judge in the 431st District Court, Republican Jim Johnson is facing Democrat Diana Witzel.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, with early voting Oct. 13-30. Click here for more information about voting in Denton County.

The candidates for 431st District Court Judge are listed in alphabetic order below.

Judge, 431st District Court (4-year-term)

Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson, 59

What is the main issue facing your community and how would you address it: Because of the COVID19 shutdown, there are now more than 500 felony crimes waiting to go to trial in the 431st. Those cases include arson, aggravated assault, strangulation, burglary of habitation, theft, financial crimes, harassment, stalking, intoxication assault, kidnaping, felony drug possession, sexual assault, and murder. Those crimes need to be properly handled under the Constitution, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, and the complex rules of evidence. There also are more than 400 business/civil cases and 35 CPS cases. This backlog needs to be managed by a person with broad executive experience. I would hold hearings early in cases and apply my experience in business to incorporate efficiencies into all court processes.

Why are you the best candidate for this position: I have experience with every type of case this Court handles including criminal law, family law, and business law. Most important, I will uphold the law and protect our Constitution. The 431st is a powerful court with general unlimited jurisdiction covering crime, punishment, fundamental rights, plus every type of conflict. I am endorsed by Texas Values, Texas Family Action, Texas Home School Coalition, Texans for Courageous Courts, Texas Right to Life, Texas Alliance for Life, Denton County Conservative Coalition, and Gun Owners of America because of my broad legal knowledge and my rock-solid judicial philosophy.

Facebook page: None listed


Email: [email protected]

Diana Weitzel

Diana Weitzel, 63

What is the main issue facing your community and how would you address it: The biggest issue is Courts need judges to exhibit compassion, decisiveness, sensitivity, courtesy, open-mindedness, patience, freedom from bias, integrity, moral courage, commitment to equal justice legal ability and expertise. Our system of justice depends on our citizen’s faith. Out of respect for the system of justice and the judge’s position in the court system, judges traditionally been accorded respect by our citizens. In return, judges must respect all those they interact with, including the parties to the dispute, their attorneys, witnesses, jurors, court reporters, staff and member of the public. I strive to be the embodiment of justice which is the cornerstone of our democratic form of government and the pillar of my platform.

Why are you the best candidate for this position: The 431st Judicial District Court is a general jurisdiction court that oversees civil, criminal, and family law cases. I have over thirteen years of legal experience in these areas of law. I have both state and federal experience in multiple counties in Texas. My background includes collaborative law and a certified mediator. Also, I am a former law professor and business professor. Prior to law, I was a successful business executive that was responsible for the profit and loss for the largest non-profit purchasing group for over 2500 hospitals in the United States. I possess the appropriate temperament and character, capabilities and credentials, independent and impartial, and the confidence of the public. I will uphold the law.

Facebook page: Diana Weitzel for Judge

Website: None listed

Email: [email protected]

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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